Tag Archives: Jason Isbell

Mixed Tape Monday:Colors

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend and remembered to call, visit, or at least think about your dear old mom. 

Today’s topic is Colors:

Song:              Orange Sky

Artist:              Alexi Murdoch

Album:            Time Without Consequence

Song:              Back In Black

Artist:              AC/DC

Album:            Back In Black

Song:              Blue Sky

Artist:              The Allman Brothers Band

Album:            Eat A Peach

Song:              Black Tambourine

Artist:              Beck

Album:            Guero

Song:              Brown Eyed Blues

Artist:              Ben Harper

Album:            Diamonds On the Inside

Song:              Gary Indiana Blues

Artist:              Big Head Todd & the Monsters

Album:            Riviera

Song:              Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye

Artist:              The Black Crowes

Album:            The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion

Song:              Big Blue Sea

Artist:              Bob Schneider

Album:            Songs Sung and Played on Guitar at the Same Time

Song:              Black Cowboys

Artist:              Bruce Springsteen

Album:            Devils & Dust

Song:              Red Dust

Artist:              Calexico & Iron & Wine

Album:            In the Reins

Song:              YellowBlues

Artists:             Charlie Robison

Album:            Beautiful Day

Song:              Soldier Blue

Artist:              The Cult

Album:            Sonic Temple

Song:              Green Light Girl

Artist:              Doyle Bramhall II & Smokestack

Album:            Welcome

Song:              The Deepest Blues Are Black

Artist:              Foo Fighters

Album:            In Your Honor

Song:              Whitewash

Artist:              Gin Blossoms

Album:            Congratulations…I’m Sorry

Song:              Mr. Brownstone

Artist:              Guns ’N’ Roses

Album:            Appetite for Destruction

Song:              Dress Blues

Artist:              Jason Isbell

Album:            Sirens of the Ditch

Song:              Yellow

Artist:              Coldplay

Album:            Parachutes

Song:              Far Away Blues

Artist:              Joe Purdy

Album:            Julie Blue

Song:              Pink House

Artist:              John Mellencamp

Album:            Uh Huh

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


Drive-By Truckers

Today, let us rejoice in the three axe attack of Drive-By Truckers. 

Drive-By Truckers Discography and best song per album:

  • Gangstabilly (1998)
    • Late for Church
  • Pizza Deliverance (1999)
    • Nine Bullets
  • Alabama Ass Whuppin  (Live 2000)
    • The Living Bubba
  • Southern Rock Opera (2002)
    • Shut Up and Get On the Plane
  • Decoration Day (2003)
    • Decoration Day
  • The Dirty South (2004)
    • Carl Perkin’s Cadillac
  • A Blessing and a Curse (2006)
    • Gravity’s Gone
  • Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (2008)
    • Self Destructive Zones
  • Live from Austin, TX (2009)
    • A Ghost To Most
  • The Fine Print: A Collection of Oddities and Rarities (2009)
    • The Great Car Dealer War
  • The Big To-Do (2010)
    • The Wig He Made Her Wear

Top 3 Drive-By Trucker Albums:

  1. Brighter Than Creations Dark
  2. A Blessing and a Curse
  3. Decoration day

Top 10 Drive-By Trucker Songs:

  1. Gravity’s Gone
  2. Self Destructive Zones
  3. Decoration Day
  4. Outfit
  5. A Ghost To Most
  6. Nine Bullets
  7. Cottonseed
  8. The Righteous Path
  9. Monument Valley
  10. Carl Perkin’s Cadillac

As a little bonus, I will add another category that involves lyrically genius.

Drive-By Truckers Genius Lyrics:

  • The hippies rode a wave putting smiles on faces, that the devil wouldn’t even put a shoe
    Caught between a generation dying from its habits, and another thinking rock and roll was new
    Till the pawn shops were packed like a backstage party, hanging full of pointy ugly cheap guitars
    And the young’uns all turned to karaoke, hanging all their wishes upon disregarded stars

 

  • Reverend Bob is pointin’ his finger Mom and Dad follow every last word
    All this hollerin’ makes me wonder does a whispered prayer get heard?
    Reverend Bob is preachin’ out thunder fire and brimstone pouring down
    Me, I’m wondering what’s for dinner waitin’ for 12 o’clock to come round
    Everybody’s got their own Heaven They all find it their own way
    I am an angel

 

  • Those little demons ain’t the reasons for the bruises on your soul you’ve been neglecting
    You’ll never lose your mind as long as your heart always reminds you where you left it
    And don’t ever let them make you feel like saying what you want is unbecoming
    If you were supposed to watch your mouth all the time I doubt your eyes would be above
    it

 

  • It’s all about where you put the horizon said the Great John Ford to the young man rising
    You got to frame it just right and have some luck of course and it helps to have a tall man sitting on the horse
    Tell them just enough to still leave them some mystery a grasp of the ironic nature of history
    A man turns his back on the comforts of home the Monument Valley to ride off alone

 

  • Stop that dope smokin! stop that masturbation!
    Take the Lord into your heart and stop that fornication.
    We’re building us an army, gonna knock out Satan.
    Visa or Mastercard, our operator’s waiting.
    Too much sex, too little Jesus.”

Read, review, and respond.

 Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday: Cities

Today is Mixed Tape Monday and today’s topic is Cities!

So, listed below are great songs that have a particular city in the title or referenced in the song. 

City Mixed Tape:

  • Atlantic City
    • Bruce Springsteen
    • Album: The River
  • Brooklyn Bound
    • The Black Keys
    • The Big Come Up
  • Toyko
    • Bob Schneider
    • Album: Lonelyland
  • San Francisco
    • Brett Dennen
    • Album: Hope for the Hopeless
  • Omaha
    • Counting Crows
    • Album: August and Everything After
  • L.A. Woman
    • The Doors
    • Album: L.A. Woman
  • Birmingham
    • Drive-By Truckers
    • Album: Southern Rock Opera
  • South of Cincinnati
    • Dwight Yoakam
    • Album: Guitars, Cadillac’s, Etc., Etc.
  • Chicago Promenade
    • Jason Isbell
    • Album: Sirens of the Ditch
  • Train to Jackson
    • Jeffrey Foucault
    • Album: Ghost Repeater
  • San Jose
    • Joe Purdy
    • Album: Take My Blanket and Go
  • When Jesus Left Birmingham
    • John Mellencamp
    • Album: Human Wheels
  • Jersey Clowns
    • Josh Rouse
    • Album: Subtitulo
  • Manhattan
    • The Kings of Leon
    • Album: Only by the Night
  • Lake Charles
    • Lucinda Williams
    • Album: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
  • The Road to Ensenada
    • Lyle Lovett
    • Album: The Road to Ensenada
  • Memphis & 53rd
    • Minus the Bear
    • Album: Menos el Oso
  • Jacksonville Skyline
    • Whiskeytown
    • Album: Pneumonia
  • Lynnville Train
    • Robert Earl Keen
    • Album: Gringo Honeymoon
  • Riddle In London Town
    • State Radio
    • Album: Us Against the Crown

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


The Drive-By Truckers The Big To-Do!

The Big To-Do is the highly anticipated, recently released album by Drive-By Truckers.  The album is solid and Trucker fans will not be disappointed.  However, there were a few surprise on this album that seem a bit of a departure from their previous work.

The absence of Mike Cooley was the first thing I noticed when I listened to the album.  Mike Cooley covers lead vocals on three songs and is sorely missed on the album.  This is not a shot at the album but merely noted in deference to the greatness of Cooley’s calm, self assured vocals and considerable songwriting skills.  His voice is as recognizable as Hood’s but is diametrically opposed in cadence, timbre, and texture.  He contributes three songs and on Birthday Boy, he is a layer or two behind the music.  Not the norm for his work and a little disappointing for all of the Cooley fans out there.

This is the first release since the departure of guitarist Jason Isbell.  While the Trucker’s still have their three axe attack, John Neff does not contribute at the level of Jason Isbell.  In addition to being one of three guitarists, Isbell was a strong contributor to the songwriting; he wrote and sang quite a few of the stand out songs from their catalog in the 00’s.  Musically they are still exceptionally tight but just not breaking new ground with this album.

Shonna Tucker, the Trucker’s bassist, contributes two solid tracks.  Her playing has always been extremely competent.  This is her second album where she contributes lead vocals for tracks that she wrote.  I think that Tucker’s contributions are an exceptional high light of the album.  Her songs tend to be bathed a bit with a stylized country sound.  You can almost picture her in a small, local bar singing to the swaying, two stepping couples after last call.

This album is heavy on Patterson Hood’s musical and vocal offerings.  Of the thirteen tracks, he wrote the lyrics and covers lead vocals on seven.  I am a huge Patterson Hood fan and I find his satirical writing style to be a refreshing escape from some of the worn out topics of other current musical acts.

Stand out Tracks:

  • The Wig He Made Her Wear
  • The Fourth Night of My Drinking
  • Eyes Like Glue
  • You Got Another
  • Drag the Lake Charlie

 Great music awaits!


You should be listening to the Drive-By Truckers “Live from Austin, TX”!

The Drive-By Truckers are a band best experienced live.  The raw energy of the show further enhances the poignancy of the songwriting and showcases their musicianship.  This is why their latest release Live from Austin, TX is the best of both worlds. 

Live from Austin, TX captures the Trucker’s live show at the legendary Austin City Limits television show.  Recorded on Sept. 26th 2008, it is a combo package of CD and DVD.  The set list includes thirteen classic Trucker songs and showcases the vocal stylings of Cooley, Hood, and bassist Shonna Tucker. 

Cooley sounds just as warm and laid back on “Ghost to Most” and “Space City” as Hood sounds raspy, angry, and whisky soaked on “Righteous Path” and “The Living Bubba”.  Bassist Shonna Tucker makes her songwriting debut with “I’m Sorry Houston”.  Brighter Than Creations Dark, arguably one of the best Trucker albums, gets a lot of attention on this live set with four songs while the remaining Trucker catalog gets one or two songs.  I’m sorry to say “Gravity’s Gone”,Nine Bullets”, and “Carl Perkin’s Cadillac” did not make the set list.  Clocking in at 82 minutes of live music, it is hard to cover all the great songs from their extensive catalog.

“18 Wheels of Love” from Gangstabilly is a rocking, eleven minute labor of love with about six minutes of tribute to Patterson’s mother and Chester the truck driver’s unlikely courtship and eventual marriage. 

The Drive-By Truckers have built an impressive body of work and have held to the vision of founders Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood.  While they have had some band members leave over the years, most notably Jason Isbell, the Truckers have remained resilient and the music has not suffered.   This is clearly evidenced on this album.

Check out the Drive-By Truckers at www.drivebytruckers.com.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Jason Isbell!

Jason Isbell is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist from Alabama who was an integral part of the Drive-By Truckers for 6 years and three albums.  He was with the Truckers from 2001 -2007 and released his first solo album “Sirens of the Ditch” in 2007.  Since his debut release, Jason formed a band comprised of Matt Pence of Centro-Matic and some other Alabama musicians.  The band is dubbed “The 400 Unit” which is a reference to the psyche ward of an Alabama hospital.  Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit released a self title album in 2009. 

For fans of Drive-By Truckers, rest assured Isbell’s distinguishing voice is there, his gift to write significant lyrics remains, and his commanding guitar playing is just as unmistakable. His solo album and his work with the new band is not a dramatic musical departure for Isbell. Yet the albums are slight exodus from the Truckers musically, as the songs are shorter, more compressed with a touch of old school pop.

Lyrically, the albums are more wide-ranging topically than his work with the Truckers and less narrative stories with a more casual approach, the subject matter is less southern and more diverse.

Jason Isbell Discography

  • Sirens of the Ditch
  • Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Top 5 Jason Isbell Songs according to Butler (Albums listed to right of song):

  1.  The Devil Is My Running Mate (Sirens of the Ditch)
  2. Cigarettes and Wine (Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit)
  3. Chicago Promenade (Sirens of the Ditch)
  4. In a Razor Town (Sirens of the Ditch)
  5. Dress Blues (Sirens of the Ditch)

Check out Jason Isbell at www.jasonisbell.com and let me know what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clqH-notmZE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnCG9aekWho&feature=related

Jason Isbell’s music is available on iTunes, record stores, and www.jasonisbell.com.

Great music awaits!


25 albums you should own!

Over time, there have many great musical artists and from each artist comes an assortment of songs that become an album. In theory the sum of an album should be equal or greater than its parts (songs).  If only this were true.  Today, with streaming audio, and the ability to buy/download single songs, the allure and importance of the album has waned.  Artists might release several EP’s before they release a full length album. 

Growing up, I had to roll the dice and hope that each album I saved for would be as good as the song I heard on the radio.  Sadly, that was not always the case.  Domo arigato Mr. Roboto!

However, some artists do indeed get it right and below is a list of 25 albums you might not know but you should own.  This collection does not include live albums or greatest hits. 

Also, I do not include any type of review for the below artists/albums.  This is in an effort to allow you to form you own opinion, keep the blog reading to an acceptable time, and selfishly save me time writing the blog itself. 

Twenty Five albums you should own! (In no particular order):

Artist Album
Alexi Murdoch Time Without Consequences
Animal Liberation Orchestra Fly Between Falls
Arcade Fire Funeral
Ben Harper Welcome to the Cruel World
The Black Keys Attack and Release
Citizen Cope   The Clarence Greenwood Recordings
Chris Whitley Living with the Law
The Dead Weather Horehound
Drive-By Truckers Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
Elliott Smith From a Basement on the Hill
Sonic Youth Daydream Nation
Jason Isbell Sirens of the Ditch
Jeffrey Foucault Stripping Cane
John Butler Trio Sunrise Over Sea
Joseph Arthur Come To Where I’m From
My Morning Jacket The Tennessee Fire
A Perfect Circle Mer De Noms
The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers
Slaid Cleaves Broke Down
Tom Petty She’s the One
The Tragically Hip Fully Completely
Joe Purdy Only Four Seasons
Son Volt Trace
Neko Case Middle Cyclone
Iron & Wine Our Endless Numbered Days

 Great music awaits!


You should be listening to the Drive-By Truckers

The music of the Drive-By Truckers is a pounding mix of southern rock and alt/country.  From a musical perspective, they are one of the few current bands that have and utilize three guitarists.  They also generously share the writing and vocal responsibility between Patterson Hood, Mike Cooley, bassist Shonna Tucker, and from about 2002-2007 (former) guitarist Jason Isbell. All four have pretty distinct sonic styles and really make the music interesting. 

The Drive-By Truckers were co-founded by Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley in the musical Mecca of Athens, Georgia in 1996. 

Deeply rooted in their southern heritage and more than a little influenced by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Drive-By Trucker’s embrace and at times enhance the myths of the South.  They unabashedly sing about all of the things that are a caricature of the southern lifestyle.  They do this with insightful and intelligent lyrics, moving harmonies, the occasional pedal steel and lots of guitars.

 Drive-By Truckers  Discography

  • Gangstabilly
  • Pizza Deliverance
  • Southern Rock Opera
  • Decoration Day
  • The Dirty South
  • A Blessing and a Curse
  • Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
  • The Fine Print (A Collection of Oddities and Rarities 2003-2008)

 Top 5 Drive-By Truckers Songs according to Butler (Albums listed to right of song):

  1.  Nine Bullets (Pizza Deliverance)
  2. Shut Up and Get on the Plane (Southern Rock Opera)
  3. Carl Perkin’s Cadillac (The Dirty South)
  4. The Great Car Dealer War (The Fine Print)
  5. The Righteous Path (Brighter Than Creation’s Dark)

A great live band, I saw them recently in Dallas at the House of Blues and several years ago in Austin at Austin City Limits Music Festival.  Both shows were fantastic. 

Give the Drive-By Truckers a spin and let me know what you think.

 Drive-By Truckers music is available is available on iTunes, record stores and www.drivebytruckers.com

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Great music awaits!